On its surface, the suburban Ontario constituency of London West is like so many ridings in the province. Dotted with sprawling established neighbourhoods, the community's residents personify Protestant Ontario: reserved, small-c conservative and hardworking. But the economic landscape in London West has changed significantly since the Harper Conservatives took power almost a decade ago. With economic fears front and centre and conventional political wisdom out the window, this formerly unremarkable riding has quickly become a microcosm for the October 19 federal election
As a socialist, I was excited for this election as I hoped the NDP would stretch its wings and become a vocal proponent for the poor, the under-housed, the underemployed, etc.; that they would put front and centre the issues that carry the greatest ethical and moral weight for Canada's society. But no. The party of the little man -- Tommy Douglas's party of mice refusing to be led by cats -- is now courting middle-income Canadians. For me the crisis facing Canadians is not one of an attack on the middle class.
One of the most important steps the Canadian government can take to kickstart the economy is a large-scale program directed at renewing our national infrastructure. It will help drive job creation while generating about $1.60 of GDP for every $1 spent. And it will transform the present value of low interest rates into long-term capital assets underpinning greater Canadian productivity.
The worst kept secret regarding the economy was made official today -- Canada is in a recession. There is nothing technical about it; the definition of a recession is relatively straightforward: two consecutive quarters with negative economic growth. The fact that this definition might not be convenient for a sitting government's, which holds itself out as brilliant economic managers, political fortunes is irrelevant. By any objective standard, the Canadian economy is under-performing.
The Greek failure to successfully address tax evasion should prove instructive to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who in 2014 pledged to crack down on tax cheats. Greek measures to tackle evasion with enforcement have resulted in only small improvements. An enforcement only strategy should not be the model Ontario follows for tackling the underground economy. Relying on enforcement and punishment squeezes legitimate businesses who are already faced with high compliance costs and tax and regulatory burdens.
Demonstrating the Green Party's commitment to principled, thoughtful politics, each reason highlights a specific, deep-rooted problem and provides a long-term viable solution. The ultimate goal: build a better Canada for all Canadians, a Canada with a sustainable future grounded in responsible environmental stewardship, social justice and fiscal responsibility.
As the country's leading staffing agency, we're able to identify trends shaping the world of work before they become official statistics. In analyzing our own data and combining it with anecdotal evidence from employers we work with, we've identified four key areas to watch as the year plays out.
Canadians no longer need to make the false choice between the environment and the economy. On Monday in Vancouver, Justin Trudeau unveiled a detailed plan for real change that will create jobs, grow the economy and protect the environment.
Debt has been in the news a lot lately. The major news outlets in Canada are paying attention to our record-high household debt levels and are doing some fantastic reporting about the effects of oil prices, housing, health, divorce, and all the other factors that can damage a family's bottom line. Yet amid this rabble of expert voices and real Canadian tales of debt crisis, there was one lone dissenter.
The key to closing Canada's skills gap in the future lies in young people and according to a recent Randstad study, it seems that young Canadians are getting the message. There is a wealth of opportunity for career building within the various skilled trade sectors across the country, and people are taking notice.
If you're looking for more on how Harper's Conservatives will help the struggling Canadian economy they've overseen, well, that's about it. It's not much of a plan and we all deserve better.
Canada is in the midst of a unprecedented housing boom that seems likely to bust. I was recently in Canada and noticed a schizophrenic oscillation between housing exuberance and oil-price despair. What did it mean for the Canadian economy's outlook? Upon returning to the U.S., I did some research. What I found leads me to the conclusion that Canada is now among the most vulnerable large economies in the world. Here's why.
These factors have brought hard times to some industries and uncertainty about the impacts to the Canadian economy as the whole. While uncertainty is never comfortable, it can present some opportunities and challenges depending on your situation or sector. Here are three to watch for the rest of the year.
No matter how you slice it, Harper has failed to lead Canada towards a sustained economic recovery from the financial crisis seven years ago. It doesn't matter how much public money he spends on ads claiming otherwise. Facts are facts. So, what does a government facing re-election do when its top agenda item, economic management, is in tatters? It changes the channel to something else.
To reinforce his obvious campaign themes about fear and insecurity, Stephen Harper has taken to describing Canada's current economic situation as a "crisis." If that's his pitch, one should ask under whose watch did this so-called "crisis" develop? Our country is no doubt in an economic mess, but calling it a "crisis" is simply a scare tactic.
Tightening U.S. monetary policy suggests that the Canadian dollar will remain weak. And in spite of competitiveness concerns, exports are rising enough this year to suggest 10 per cent growth, and an added 6 per cent in 2015. This in turn will spur business investment, lifting Canadian GDP growth to 2.8 per cent in 2015.